South Africa


After the end of Apartheid in 1994, there were moves to 'demilitarise' the police - during the years of Apartheid, both the police and the military were used to maintain the oppressive status-quo, and the police had far-reaching powers. During the transition from apartheid, new ranks were introduced to 'demilitarise' the police, and police were retrained to 'manage' rather than 'control' crowds. However, with high crime rates, there are growing calls for the police to extend their capabilities, and deal with crime with 'an iron fist'. Military rankings for the police were reintroduced in 2010, and the South African Police Service has been trained by French police, in techniques described as 'paramilitary' and reliant on shows of force. In the autumn of 2012, heavily armed police forces shot 34 striking miners in the now infamous Marikana massacre - the BBC reported that weaponry available to the police that day included a 40mm vehicle mounted machine gun.